Vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure that blocks the vas deferens – about two thirds of the way from the upper pole of the testicle to the base of the penis. There are two Vas Deferens, or tubes, each carrying sperm from the testicles to the ejaculatory ducts under the bladder where the sperm mixes with semen. Sperm are therefore prevented from getting into semen, and are absorbed back into the body.
Semen is still ejaculated after vasectomy because semen is made by the prostate gland and seminal vesicle glands under the bladder. The only difference is that sperm don’t get into semen after vasectomy. Sperm are produced by the testicles but contribute only 2% of the volume of semen. The purpose of sperm is to fertilise an egg, whilst semen nourishes and provides a transport medium for the sperm.
Success is confirmed with a semen test approximately 25 ejaculations and 12-14 week later when the semen is clear of sperm. Sex and ejaculation feel the same but pregnancy is prevented. The chance of a pregnancy ever occurring after a negative post vasectomy test is exceptionally low at 1 in 2,000.
Vasectomy requires that both vas deferens, or tubes, are divided and blocked, but first you need to get to them.
Traditional vasectomy accesses the tubes via a separate scalpel-incision, leaving a wound requiring stitches on each side of the scrotum.
On the other hand, No-Scalpel method accesses both tubes through a single small hole in the middle of the scrotum. Most vasectomies these days are No-Scalpel Vasectomy which is performed whilst awake using local anaesthetic.
The tubes are subsequently cut and blocked (or the other way around) in a number of different ways. Which part of the tube is blocked? Occlusion of the lower end – the end attached to the testicle – defines closed vasectomy. Occlusion of the upper end – leaving the lower end left open – describes open vasectomy. Open-ended vasectomy using a titanium clip or suture is becoming the norm. Suture is more technically challenging but obviates the need to leave titanium behind. Read more about the technique of no-scalpel vasectomy.
How do you play ball with your partner who drops the hint that she is ‘over hormones?’ How do you handle the bombshell ‘Honey, I’m pregnant!’ Men are not used to grabbing a front-row seat in the contraception department. ‘No worries, mate, she’ll be right’ doesn’t work for contraception.
The top ‘six’ reasons why vasectomy is chosen above other forms of contraception are:
- Plan your life – now more relevant than ever before with almost half children in their 20s still living with their parents.
- Support your partner who has done the hard yard, and says that she is ‘over hormones!’
- No Oopsie’s. Vasectomy offers virtually bulletproof protection against unintended pregnancy, allowing you to enjoy worry-free sex.
- Set & Forget – with no pill to forget. Snip and let slip – free from hormones and medical devices.
- Vasectomy is the cheapest form of contraception, with an out-of-pocket cost similar to that of a single five-year cycle of the Mirena intrauterine device.
- Environmental concerns are cited by a few guys – though rarely a reason on its own.
Ultimately, it’s about setting family size rather than leaving it to chance.